Deviance from a beloved form can be a death sentence for a band. At the very least, it polarizes fans to a great degree, and fans a flame that will unlikely fade anytime soon. Take the case of Lydia. While the early half of their discography is usually heralded as the second coming, Assailants and onward marks a great division: you either love it or hate it. But moving past a road bump or two, Lydia continues on with the forthcoming release of Devil.
Perhaps ‘long-time fan’ outcry has reached Lydia’s ear, as first single “Knee Deep” flavorfully taunts a return to form, combining the best of both worlds. Still featured are the drawn out, warm vocals and trembling percussion which were especially prevalent on Paint It Golden, perhaps the band’s most polarizing effort to date. Rhythmically, the track is very restrained and pulsates at a mid-tempo that allows room for much more expression. And there’s the key to the hearts of Lydia fans everywhere: a blend of colorful electric and acoustic guitar, Illuminate-esque piano melodies, full background harmonies, all in emotional key that was so pervasive in Lydia’s early material.
Though it’s not perfect (overt lyrical repetition, and the track’s disappointing run-time hinder that), Devil will be sure to draw back many who abandoned ship and will keep pulling on those who enjoyed the band’s later work, such as myself. If anything, “Knee Deep” is a pleasant hint at what’s to come. No doubt, many ears will perk in recognition of the endearing sound that drew them to Lydia in the first place.